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Old 11-15-2011, 10:58 PM   #1
gte024h
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Hi Guys, I just bought a 1997 318ti with 140,000 miles. It has a few problems but I only paid $3000 for it.

It's got a shimmy at certain speeds and it pulses during high speed braking. It also makes a rumbling noise when turning right at high speed. I checked the wheel bearings and I can't feel any play. I also noticed that the previous owner changed the driver's side control arm. The lolipop bushings are original, but don't look cracked. The shocks are pretty loose all around, but none are leaking. The steering rack doesn't seem to have any play either. Any ideas what to do?

The previous owner had replaced the radiator recently, and he also wired the radiator fan to always run at full speed. Any ideas why he would have done that?

The car doesn't smoke, and it pulls strong and idles steady. Are there any other things I need to check ASAP?
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:05 AM   #2
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welcome to the org
i'll let tifreak help you out with some of your questions...he's a smart kid
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:20 AM   #3
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welcome to m44 world!
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:40 AM   #4
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The fan switch or relay is probably bad. Not too pricey to replace.

Could have done it because the HG is blown and it overheats.

I would suggest going through the whole cooling system. That is the #1 killer of these cars.
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:47 AM   #5
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thanks for volunteering me

even with no play, the wheel bearing still could be bad, it could also be the wheel rubbing on something. it's hard to tell without looking at the car unfortunately
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:48 AM   #6
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see, told ya he'd be of some help
I KNOW EVERYTHING
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:50 AM   #7
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One thing to mention is that the heater doesn't get very hot. I just bled the system but it hasn't helped. I read the bleeding tutorial here, and did everything it said.

I removed the radiator fan wiring modification and now the fan does not cut on all the time. In fact I can't get it to come on at all. I let the car idle about 30 minutes and the dash gauge never moved past 12 o'clock. The heat was lukewarm as well. I did notice that the upper radiator hose was hot and hard, and the drivers side of the radiator was very hot, but the passenger side hose was cool and that side of the radiator was not very hot. Is it possible for the radiator to passively cool an idling engine such that the fan never comes on? The ambient temp was about 70F.

BTW, I went through the car replacing all the burn out bulbs (which was almost all of them) and when I put bulbs in the instrument cluster I added bulbs where there were some missing. Now the "Transmission" light is on all the time. The manual says this light indicates an automatic transmission fault, but my car has a stick shift. Should I just remove the bulb, or does that indicate something important? Also, the airbag light comes on all the time now. All the threads I've seen here say that the dealer has to reset the airbag light, or that it might be the "mat sensor". Is there anyway I can troubleshoot it myself?
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:04 AM   #8
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sounds like you need a thermostat

and yes, you should remove the transmission bulb. you can buy a scanner made by Peake to check and reset the airbag light, I believe bavauto.com sells them. take a look at the wiring underneath your seats, people stick things under their seats all the time and break the wires for the seat belt and occupancy sensors, which would trigger an airbag light
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:36 AM   #9
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I just tested the fan switch. I get a click from the high speed relay when I jump the plug that way, but the fan does not run. I get no click when I jump the low speed contacts. I swapped the fuel pump relay with the high speed fan relay since they have the same markings. It made no difference. I am going back out to the garage to check fuses and see if I can find and check the low speed resistor.
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:35 AM   #10
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I found that F48 under the steering column was blown. That would explain the behavior I was seeing. Once I get that replaced, I'll see if the high speed fan relay is good as mentioned in this thread: http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=34064
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:28 PM   #11
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I got the fuse replaced and now the radiator fan runs in high speed when the radiator temperature switch is jumped brown to black. Still no low speed though. I manually jumped the terminals at the relay and the fan comes on in low speed. I swapped the yellow relays around and there was no difference, so I guess that means I need either a new high speed relay or there's something wrong with the DME.

On an unrelated note, is it normal for the engine to idle about 5 seconds after you turn the ignition off?

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Old 11-16-2011, 10:21 PM   #12
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welcome!
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